The snow/ash tray serves two main functions, portability and environmental stewardship. In regards to portability, it allows you to move the stove wherever, or whenever you need, based on conditions. Whether in wind or rain, I was easily able to move it under cover, or to an area with a wind block - all the while, with the fire still burning. (Of course, extreme care is needed!) Or how about cooking from a nice vantage point? How often do you get to decide where the kitchen is, in regards to the fire pit? To take advantage of a nice view over-looking the lake, or in front of the setting sun, you can do that with a snow/ash tray and your 180 Stove. Plus, it can be that small intimate 'fireplace' after supper. It will literally go wherever you need it to go.
I used this stove many times under varying conditions. It wasn't always bad, despite using a big pot. There are actually ways to work around the problem. If there is a mild breeze to 'force feed' air, that helped the issue significantly. However, you can't control the wind, nor the intensity, so it is out of your control and not reliable. You could also use wood in small quantities. Too much wood and again, you stifle the little air flow you have. Problem is, more effort is needed to get/process smaller pieces of wood, and your fire will never be as big or hot. Lastly, using absolutely dry wood - which sounds like a no-brainer, but has more relevance here. Since less air is moving, wood will not burn as efficiently, particularly if it has a bit of moisture to deal with. However, if the air flow increases, even slightly damp wood will burn well. (Think, blowing into the fire.) Oh, one other thing, the small pot scenario. If you are solo, sure. If you have more people and lots of time, sure. I think you get the idea, but it may not always be practical. So, the stove does work, but not as good as it could, and better under certain circumstances.
Here's a fire pit we found one day at camp. If I wanted to cook
over a fire, I would have to do a major clean up,
then rebuild the fire pit to cook.....
.....or, as we did, take out the 180 Stove, find a nice spot
(Meaning clean, level, AND comfortable), and
proceed to cook supper. Yup, I'll
take option 2!
Cooking with the 180 Stove alongside the more traditional
method. As you can see, my friend had to use
more wood than us.
The new trend of outdoor gear is alive and well. With products that get you out there, and help not only the environment, but your pocket as well, definitely deserves your attention. The 180 Stove is one of them. I may still have a white gas stove, but when I head out into the bush, it's the twig stove I turned to first.
decide where to have the fire, not
the other way around.